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Cavell, Stanley (1926–)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD093-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2016
Retrieved July 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Stanley Cavell held the Walter M. Cabot Chair in Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University from 1963 until his retirement in 1997. The range, diversity and distinctiveness of his writings are unparalleled in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. As well as publishing essays on modernist painting and music, he has created a substantial body of work in film studies, literary theory and literary criticism; he has introduced new and fruitful ways of thinking about psychoanalysis and its relationship with philosophy; and his work on ‘Continental’ philosophers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida, together with his attempts to revitalize the tradition of Emersonian Transcendentalism, has defined new possibilities for a distinctively American contribution to philosophical culture. This complex oeuvre is unified by a set of thematic concerns – relating to scepticism and moral perfectionism – which are rooted in Cavell’s commitment to the tradition of ordinary language philosophy, as represented in the work of J.L. Austin and Wittgenstein.

Citing this article:
Mulhall, Stephen. Cavell, Stanley (1926–), 2016, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD093-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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